The Left Laments
THE literary Hindi magazine Alochana had commenced publication some fifty years ago but ever since it has been appearing in fits and starts. Recently it has started its regular publication. The latest issue of the magazine is before me, which is designed as a special number, containing a lead article titled Fasiwad aur Sanskriti ka Sankat (Fascism and crisis of culture). Shri Namwar Singh, who was Alochana's Chief Editor before it suspended publication, continues to be the Chief Editor of the present issue as well. He is a well known and a leading member of the intellectuals group of the Communist parties.
In the preface to the issue the good comrade has exhorted thus. Today, when fascism has actually arrived, it is our duty to knock at every door. It is neither an intimation, nor a mere warning, it is time to throw the gauntlet directly. The renewed Alochana is the voice of this resistance -- not a solitary voice; a voice in unison. The quoted comment makes it evident that the magazine has little to do with literature, but is a weapon being used by the Communists in their political battle.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has assumed power at the Centre as mandated by the majority of Indians. Overawed by the peoples mandate the magazine resumed its publication to give the resurgent forces a fight. Comrade Namwar Singh has mobilised a considerable number of leftist writers to contribute to the issue who have heaped abuse on the BJP to their hearts content. They have used the epithet of Hindu Fascism time and again to malign the BJP. Like the words reactionary and imperialist which were bandied for USA on the Russian Radio, before the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the phrase Hindu Fascism has been used for the BJP in each and every piece of the magazine.
All the contributors to the issue such as Sarvashri Khagendra Thakur (Bharat Men Fasiwad ka khatra), Prabhash Joshi (Fasiwad ka Bharatiya Avatar), Raj Kishore (Bharatiya Fasiwad mein Samajik Adhar), Pradeep Saxena (Fasiwad Ahaten Aspas), Rajendra Yadav (Vaicharik Shunya mein Panapata Fasiwad), Harbans Muhiya (Rashtrawad ka Vikrit Rup Hai Fasiwad), Aizaz Ahmad (Fasiwad ka Vikrit Rup), are committed Communist writers who are extremely agitated over the coming into power of the BJP. Other notable writers included are Sarvashri Pooran Chandra Joshi, Bhishma Sahney, Mrinal Pandey, Vishnu Khare, Vinod Bharadwaj, Devendra Raj Ankur, Rajesh Joshi, Manager Pande, and Manglesh Dabral.
The titles of the afore mentioned articles will translate into English as The Danger of Fascism in India, The Indian incarnation of Fascism, The social basis of Indian Fascism, Foot steps of Fascism, The Fascism Growing in Ideological Vaccum, Fascism, the distorted face of Nationalism, etc. These titles are indicative of the ideological commitment and bias of the writers.
Ever since 1942 when the Communists betrayed the country and fell flat on the feet of the British rulers opposing the Quit India Movement, they have enjoyed the fruits of power as brokers. The British had shown favour to them in a variety of ways as a reward for their loyalty. The doors of government jobs were thrown open to them like the proverbial magical door. They also entered into the universities. The Leftists were appointed in the AIR in a considerable number. They were sent abroad as members of delegations. The situation did not change even after the attainment of freedom, because the first Prime Minister of free India Jawahar Lal Nehru used to call himself a Leftist. He made India join the Soviet Camp during the cold war although openly he claimed himself to be a non-aligned leader. All members of the communist intelligentsia enjoyed the fruits of power even after independence because of the Russian influence and made fortunes by taking advantage of their proximity to power. Today, alas, they have suddenly lost the ground under their feet! Today there is neither Congress, nor Deve Gowda, nor Inder Kumar Gujral to prop them up. This sudden loss of power and self has made them look around and ponder over a few questions. If Fascism (BJP) has withdrawn the carpet from underneath their feet, then what kind of Fascism it is? What is its nature? What is the secret of its popularity? What is the source of its strength? Some samples of their discoveries are:
* The fascist threat to literature, art and culture has not arisen suddenly. The Bharatiya Janata Party has developed and expanded its cultural sinews quietly during the last decade.
* The Sangh Parivar murders the truth by spreading rumours.
* These favourites of the Sangh Parivar create terror and fear.
* The cultural nationalism of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh is a facade and a fraud. This in fact is Hindu nationalism.
* Sangh Parivar is opposed to pluralistic culture. And, they favour revival of the ancient culture.
* The BJP has an aversion for composite and social culture. It only talks of Hindu culture.
* Sangh Parivar and international capitalism are two sides of the same coin.
* There is a need to give a fight to the religious and cultural Fascism at various levels.
* Soreman, a French economist, regarded Hindutwa contrary to Indian history.
* Hindutwa is not Indian. This is an imported political concept.
* Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh is a Fascist movement in nature and the organisations connected with it are also not free from the curse.
* Now, it appears that it has entered into the premises of our democracy and is on the verge of capturing it.
* The threat has increased because they now command the leadership of those forces who control power.
* The assumption of power by the BJP is in itself a danger.
* The threat of Fascism is no longer an illusion, it is very much there and if it is not checked and pushed back the face of democracy will be tarnished and the future of the people would be jeopardised.
* The awareness about communalism is created among the public sometime in the name of cow slaughter, sometime by provoking riots, sometime through Ekatmata yajna, sometime by taking out Ram Janaki Rath Yatra, sometime in the name of Ram temple and the liberation of Ram and sometime through a campaign run through Ram Rath Yatra.
* It is difficult to push back the BJP
* It (the BJP) wants to keep the people unaware of the real problems of life in the name of Hindutwa and by pitting them against the Muslims.
* The Varn Vyavastha (the caste system) is part and parcel of the fanaticism of the Hindus.
* The leftist concern for Fascism and Nazism has increased. Sangh Parivar is an Indian incarnation of Fascism.
* The day the BJP forms its own government at the centre a new kind of dictatorship would be established.
* Sanatana Dharma, the Indian Society and Culture however could be saved from the poison of Fascism spread by these people.
There is a tradition in some families of Uttar Pradesh that at the time of arrival of the bridegroom's party on the occasion of a marriage, the bride's family treats them with abusive songs. The above rhetorics appear like such abusive treats on the arrival of BJP to power.
Shri Ravi Bhushan in his article, in the said issue titled Krantikari Vampanthi Shaktiyon ki jaroorat (The need of Revolutionary Leftist Forces) has called upon the leftist forces to get united against the BJP. Bhishma Sahni has suggested the same strategy to fight against Fascism in his article Fasiwad se sangharsha ke liye jaroori hai sudridh Janatantra (A Strong Democracy needed to fight Fascism).
Majority of articles betray frustration created out of their defeatist sentiments. Namwar Singh himself writes in the preface- Full one decade. Although a decade does not constitute an era. However, if we recall the happenings or mishaps of this decade, then it constitutes not an era but a plethora of eras. The last decade of this millennium has really proved to be epoch-making. The decade began with many a disastrous acts. First of all, destruction of the Soviet Socialism, then the demolition of the five hundred year old Babri mosque in our land along with Kar Sewa. No wonder the plan of National Development of the Nehruvian era was given up and the Indian economic machinery became a part and parcel of the capitalist globalisation. At the same time, a change also came about in politics and the forces of Hindu Fascism, which were marginalised so far, occupied the pivot of power.
The most shattering happening of the last decade--the demise of the Soviet Socialism--rendered the people like Shri Namwar Singh and other leftists orphans. Many a leftist writer and thinker was eking out bread and butter from Soviet Russia. Many had radio, fridge, T.V., car etc. in their homes, all courtesy Soviet Russia. Foreign jaunts were frequent, again courtesy Soviet Russia. Namwar Singh had been the prime priest of the Soveitland Nehru Awards for years. What a status he enjoyed then! Even after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, when Arjun Singh was the Minister for Human Resource Development, Namwar Singh remained the prime mover in almost all the committees relating to education and culture. Whether it was the Raja Ram Mohan Roy Library, or the National Book Trust or the Delhi Public Library-Namwar Singh had a place. Only Namwar Singh! And now? Now, he is nowhere. The poignant pain of personal relegation consequent to the fall of Soviet Socialism made things unbearable. In his own words this is the history of the crisis. His beautiful dream is over. He ponders over it with a sigh. Alas, what a greenery once covered his valley. And, in order to give vent to his spleen and pent up sobs, he recommences publication of the magazine Alochana. The following memorable lines of famous Hindi poet Nirala come to his mind; Vaise, andhera ghana hai, ghana hai andhakar. Is gagan mein nahin dinkar, nahin shashdhar, nahin tara. (There is pitch darkness, it is intensely dark-there is neither sun, nor moon, nor the stars in the sky.)
No wonder, Namwar Singh and his colleagues do not see the sun, the moon and the stars in the sky today. His poignant lamentations and those of his colleagues cover as many as three hundred and fifty pages of the Alochana. They have termed BJP a Hindu Fascist party and have abused it to their hearts content. They have called the Hindu culture as Brahmanical, denouncing it as anti-dalits. They have described Varna Vyavastha (caste order) as the focal point of Hindu Dharma. The actions of RSS have been compared with those of Hitler and Mussolini. They have called upon the people to save the Sanatana Dharma and the Indian society from the poison of Hindu Fascism. They have given a call for a united revolution against fascism (i.e. BJP & RSS) predicting its end like that of Hitlers and Mussolinis.
Before calling the BJP a fascist organisation, the leftists should have remembered that it was Soviet Russia which had extended the hand of friendship towards the Nazi Hitler and the Fascist Mussolini in 1939. At that time, the leftists regarded Hitler and Mussolini as their source of inspiration. Nazism and Fascism then were flawless ideologies. Interestingly, even the Congress Party had admired Hitler and Mussolini then.
In 1939 at the Tripuri Congress Session, in which Subhash Chandra Bose was elected as the Congress President, Shri Gobind Ballabh Pant while appealing to the Congressmen to continue to remain under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi had stated wherever the nations have made progress, they have done so only by remaining under the leadership of one person only. The Germans had faith in Herr Hitler and nobody can deny the fact that Germany made progress only under the leadership of Herr Hitler. Similarly, Italy could make progress only on account of signor Mussolini. (Brothers Against the Raj: Lconoy A Gorden, Viking; pp 374-80).
The Communists supported Hitler and Mussolini because Russia, their fatherland was their ally. But, the day Russia joined Britain in 1941, Hitler and Mussolini became enemies for the Communists. To call the person names, whom they had been praising till a day before, denoted the dubious character of the Communists. Indian people are well aware of the similar role now being played by them. They know very well how the Communists have always remained a tail to every party in power all along since 1942 and have survived on the crumbs thrown to them by the rulers.
Today, those in power at the Centre do not need the Communists. Today, after the elapse of fifty-three years since Independence, the Communists find themselves out of the corridors of power. They have become irrelevant in the context of national politics. There is anguish and anger writ large on their faces. This frustration has found vent in the present issue of Alochana. On going through the issue it becomes evident that their frustration is due to their personal loss of identity, power and self.
So, abuse the BJP!